What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a treatment technique used by physical therapists to eliminate trigger points within muscles. Trigger points are small knots of tightly contracted muscle that are often sore to the touch. These “muscle knots” can cause pain, limit motion and affect performance. If left untreated, they can worsen over time. In dry needling, a sterile thin filament needle is inserted into the trigger point, causing it to twitch or “release”. This release reduces pain and muscle tension, and increases mobility.
Dry needling does not take the place of other hands-on therapy or exercises, but it is a valuable treatment option. Dry needling, combined with other physical therapy treatments, can help the following conditions:
Acute and chronic tendonitis
Athletic and sports-related overuse injuries
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Chronic pain conditions
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
Headaches and whiplash
Lower back pain
Post-traumatic injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and work related injuries
Repetitive strain injuries
Many other musculoskeletal conditions . . .
How Long Does it Take for Dry Needling to Work?
In some cases, decreased pain and improved mobility is immediate. Typically, it may take a few treatment sessions for a lasting positive effect.
What are the Advantages of Dry Needling?
Access – The advantage over other techniques is that we can treat parts of the muscle and deeper layers of muscles which our hands and fingers cannot reach, and it works faster than massage at relaxing the muscles.
No Drugs – There are no drugs used in dry needling, so we can treat many trigger points during each treatment.
Immediate Relief – Deactivation of the trigger points can bring immediate relief of symptoms, and then we can immediately stretch and train the muscles to work in their new pain free range of motion. Thus, results are achieved with dry needling which cannot be obtained with any other treatment.
Will Dry Needling Help Me?
Does a massage give you great relief, but the relief doesn’t last as long as you would like? People who have good results with massage, but are disappointed when the discomfort returns, will find dry needling a great way to get more long-lasting relief. We are able to treat almost any muscle in the body, and treat the muscle at depths impossible with other types of bodywork. Dry needling is a great way to get more out of your physical therapy by allowing us to eliminate the deep knots and restrictions that have, up until now, been unreachable.
How Many Needles Will I Need?
We will start very slowly during the first session to give you a feel for the technique. The first session will focus on a few muscles that are key to your problem. These key areas can give you excellent relief with less soreness. Subsequent treatments will target more specific areas to fine-tune the effect. Sessions are usually spaced 5-7 days apart and you should expect to feel a marked difference after only 1or 2 sessions.
How Will I Feel After Dry Needling?
You will know positive change has occurred right after the session, because you will be sore in the way that you would feel after increased activity. The muscle will feel fatigued, and the soreness can last from a few hours to 1 or 2 days, but should not interfere with your everyday activities. We encourage you to be active during this time to keep the soreness to a minimum. After a day or so, you’ll experience a new and lasting feeling of less pain and tightness. The injury and pain you thought was there to stay will actually start to diminish.